Swollen, crusty cheeks

batta

Chirping
7 Years
Jun 26, 2013
15
5
79
Big Island, Hawaii
A few days ago we noticed apparent injuries to a 3 month old barred rock pullet just behind her eyes. When first noticed, I thought it looked like pecking injuries. Since then, there has been swelling to the area, at one point her eyes were completely swollen shut. The feathers in the area are somewhat crusty.
She does not seem to be in distress. None of the other 25 chicks we got at the same time, nor our 7 older hens, show anything similar. Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks.
upload_2018-11-26_7-13-57.jpeg
 

Eggcessive

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Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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It is hard to tell from the pictures. Is she low in pecking order or picked on by the others? Fowl pox, a virus carried by mosquitoes would be one possibility. Another could be a fungal infection of her skin. Pecking with scabbing would be another thought. Is she eating and drinking okay? Have you seen any tan to brown scabs on faces, wattles, and combs of the other chickens that might be fowl pox? I am leaning toward fowl pox, so here is some reading about it:
https://the-chicken-chick.com/fowl-pox-prevention-treatmen/
 

batta

Chirping
7 Years
Jun 26, 2013
15
5
79
Big Island, Hawaii
Thank you. We have not noticed this one being a particular target of pecking. She is eating and drinking, and joins the rest of the flock in foraging. The flock is free range during the day. The fowl pox article photos do not really look like what we see on her, none of the other chickens show any similar simptoms at this point. We do have mosquitos and midges year-round.
 

Eggcessive

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Apr 3, 2011
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I would watch it for changes or healing. Fowl pox scabs are contageous, and disturbing them can spread the disease. Some use iodine in scabs to help dry them out. If fungus is suspected, an antifungal cream, such as monistat or clotrmazole may be used. Coconut oil apparently has some antifungal properties. Let us know how it looks again later, and if there is improvement. The pic below is one of severe fowl pox to show how bad it can look, pic by Casportpony:
upload_2018-11-26_14-10-38.jpeg
 

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batta

Chirping
7 Years
Jun 26, 2013
15
5
79
Big Island, Hawaii
I wanted to follow up on this. We ended up with two of the chicks becoming so crusty and swollen that their eyes were closed to tiny slits, and maybe three others showed milder signs. Within ten days all had fully recovered, seemingly with no ill effects. With 33 total chicks and hens I expected much worse. I did put some idodine in their water supply to sanitize it and a little iodine on the scabs of the worst two, thoroughly cleaned the coop, sprayed a miticide in the coop, and put down a generous amount of diatomaceous earth in the coop and areas they favor for dust baths. For maintenance, I have started regularly spreading some DE.

All in all, a good learing experience. Thanks for the help, Eggcessive.
 

Eggcessive

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10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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Thank you for the update. Be careful with DE, as it can be dangerous to breathe in for both you and the chickens. Permethrin 10 spray is very safe for chickens to treat mites and lice. A small bottle of concentrate mixed with water and used with a spray bottle costs less than a bag of DE.
 

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